He was he was 26 when he first met her. She came into his life amidst a career change that would either make or break him.
She was beautiful, she was breathtaking. She was spontaneous and fun, wild and carefree. Her name was Hailley and she came into his life like a hurricane.
She enveloped him, consumed him. Kylo feel deep in love with her looks and her wild nature. He fell in love with her ability to make him forget about the world around him and focus on the fun.
He was 26 when he met her, and 27 when he proposed. He took her to Paris, his career was starting to take off and he was making more money.
He was able to take her to Paris, able to spoil her.
He took her to Paris in spring, proposed in the Louvre with a beautiful diamond ring she had picked out. He waited for her answer and felt like he was on top of the world when she said yes.
By the time he had turned 28, they were married. Kylo knew that his mother, his twin and his girlfriend, Rey, didn’t like his fiancée but Kylo didn't give two shits.
He was in love, he felt like she was the one for him; he knew it.
She made it seem as if all the shit from his life disappeared. She made it seem like his life was complete with her in it.
He was 29 when she told him he was pregnant, and if he thought he loved her before, it was nothing compared to how he felt about her then. He didn't think his life could become any more perfect with Hailley.
When their daughter was born in the middle of the heat of summer, August 5th, he was proven wrong. His life had really become perfect when his squirming, adorable little baby came into his life.
When he set his eyes on his chubby little baby, a head full of dark hair to match his and his twins, he felt like that is the moment his life became complete.
Dark, curly hair, brown eyes and a dimpled smile, she looked just like Kylo, just like her uncle Ben. Their daughter was the light of their lives, the reason Kylo worked so hard, spent so much time at the office trying to further his career.
He did everything for his wife and his child. He dove head first into everything, wanting to be the very best man he could be for his family.
He was 26 when he met her, and he was 33 when he divorced her.
His life wasn't perfect, it was far from it. He was disillusioned, so distracted by trying to be a good father, a good husband, that he had missed the warning signs, he had missed what was really going on.
His wife who he was devoted to, worked hard to provide so much for, was cheating.
While he was busy working his ass off, working to provide his wife and child with anything and everything they could need, his wife had met someone new.
She had met someone at a bar while our drinking with her friends. She had met someone who was nearly 7 years younger than her, someone who had promised her a life of partying and care free fun.
She left Kylo and their daughter. She abandoned them both in favour of this new man, this new man who wasn't limited by inhibitions like a building career and a child.
Hailley left Kylo and his stable, well paying job in New York for a man who was 7 years younger and a small town in South America.
Kylo woke up from his fogged illusionary life. He realized that all those years of being with Hailley, of being married to her, wasn't a perfect life. There were problems he glanced over, problems he ignored for the sake of loving and being loved in return.
He was 36 now with a 6 year old. He was a single parent who relied on the support system made of his mother, Ben and his girlfriend, Rey. He was 36 years old and the owner of the business he spent so many hours slaving away at to provide for his family.
Kylo Ren was 36 and ready to start dating again.
There were days when Kylo would be struck silent, struck speechless by the little 6 year old mini-me that ran throughout their NYC condo.
The little mini-me that was literally his flesh and blood, his daughter, was almost an exact copy of himself and his twin. The same dark hair and deep brown eyes, the same pouty lips.
Olivia, his excited 6 year old, taken gotten his ex-wife’s energy and wild nature, his looks and his penchant for mischief.
More than once, after his wife had left, had Kylo found his little girl somewhere lost in the condo getting into something she wasn't supposed to.
His mother said it was a form of revenge for what he and Ben, but more specifically Kylo, had put her through.
Because it wasn't enough that Olivia had Kylo and Ben's knack for mischief, but she had also inherited Kylo's flair for being dramatic.
Something as simple as losing a shoe, or having her favorite dress dirty and in the wash could result in a flurry of tears and screaming about how her life wasn't fair.
It was endlessly aggravating for Kylo, but a source of never-ending amusement for his mother, Ben and Rey.
“You are just like your daddy.” His mom would dote on her only grandchild, while being overly amused as Kylo was at his wits end with her dramatics. “You knew he threw your grandpa's keys into the lake because he didn’t want to go home while we were at the cabin?”
His little Olivia would laugh and giggle, finding the whole thing hilarious. Kylo didn’t find the amusement in having such a dramatic 6 year old, but he supposed his mother was right.
Still, Olivia was the light of his life. She was the reason he pushed so hard at work, why he worked so much.
He was a single father at 36, divorced once and had an ex-wife who was in entirely different continent.
Hailley wanted nothing to do with Kylo or their daughter, abandoning both of them in favour of her younger boyfriend and a south American little village.
Kylo had done his best, was doing his best to fill in the gaps. He relied on his mother, Ben and Rey to help with Olivia, though he hardly had to beg them to.
They would always be there for Kylo, even when he had seemed to choose his ex-wife over them, they didn't turn their backs.
“Uncle Ben! Aunt Rey!” They helped Kylo any way they could, including taking Olivia to school when he had to go to work early.
“Thank you for taking her.” Kylo had handed Rey Olivia's backpack after thanking the couple, grabbed his phone and keys from the table.
“Of course, Kylo. We love taking Liv.” Rey spoke fondly about Olivia, and then Ben. “Ben's such a child himself sometimes.”
The had both looked at Kylo’s twin, his hands lightly digging into Olivia's sides, making her squeal and laugh nearly uncontrollably.
“I have to go. Liv,” Kylo bent down and hugged Olivia when she jumped into his arms. “I’ll pick you up after school. I promise.”
He brushed her hair back behind her ears, the curly dark locks matching his own. He looked at her and smiled fondly, leaning in to kiss her forehead. “Be good for uncle ben and aunt Rey.”
“I’m always good daddy.”
“I have a friend I could set you up with.” The voice of your fellow kindergartner teacher hit your ears, her suggestion was paired with a wide grin and wiggling eyebrows.
You lifted your cup of coffee to your lips, sipping on the sweet, hot liquid. While you were sipping on your coffee, you scrambled for something to say, anything to say.
“He's a vet technician. He's cute. He's got blonde hair and green eyes.” As your friend, and fellow teacher spoke, you were still searching for exactly what to say.
You weren't opposed to being set up, weren't opposed to going on blind date’s, but you had low hopes for them.
You weren't an old woman, but you felt like some days you had an old soul. You didn't enjoy going out and drinking at bars and clubs, you didn’t like getting black out drunk, you never had.
You liked spending hours outside, the sun's rays warming and kissing your skin. You liked diving headfirst into a book, spending your time being enveloped in the story.
You liked watching and listening to thunderstorms, captivated by the way the lightning would light up the sky. You liked walking the paths in Central Park, the beauty of the park relaxing and invigorating.
You would rather spend your time at home, under the comfort of a cozy blanket with a mug of hot cocoa rather than in the presence of pounding music and drunken idiots.
“I’ll think about it, alright?” You had reassured your friend that you would think about it, but you knew that in reality you would hardly give it another thought.
“We should get to class. Our students are going to arrive soon.” You nod your head and adjusted the bag on your shoulder, your fingers digging into the cup of coffee that was dissipating the chill from your icy digits.
“I have 20 students this year.” You cast a glance to your fellow kindergarten teacher, her eyes focused on her phone.
“I have 19. I think it’s crazy that we have so many kids in the classes. Plus they have been debating combining a kindergarten and grade 1 class.” You stopped at your class first, shoved your key into the door, unlocking it.
“They’re making class sizes too big.” When you pushed the door open and flicked on the light switch, your eyes swept over your classroom decorated in bright colors, small desks in the middle of the class.
At the back of the class was a bookshelf small enough that the students could grab what they wanted. Beside the bookshelf was a series of shelves containing toys and art supplies.
Off to the far right at the back were 4 short tables with little chairs tucked underneath for the kids to sit on. The whole classroom was designed with your personal touches, as was the norm for anyone else’s classrooms.
“It's a good school, they have a long waiting list. I heard they’re trying to push class sizes to the limits to get as many kids in as possible.” You had looked back at your friend, her own bag in her left hand.
“That's ridiculous.” You some skeptically as you set your bag down beside your desk, turned on your computer and then pulled your chair out from under the wood.
“I think it’s horrible. And you know who’s going to get blamed when kids start failing?” you and your friend, simultaneously pointed at yourselves and made a clicking noise.
“Teachers always get the blame.” You stood up when you heard the sound of kids speaking and laughing, the sound of their shoes squeaking on the waxed wooden floor outside the classroom ending the conversation.
“I’ll see you at lunch.” You friend made her way to the door, moving out of the way as your kids started running in, their excitement infectious. “Think about the date, Y/N!”
You rolled your eyes and turned away from her, focusing on the excited 5 and 6 year olds who wanted, and had, started to talk your ears off.
You waited until your friend was out of sight, before you uncrossed your fingers. You wouldn’t give the idea any more thought than necessary.
I think having a mini-Kylo running around would be adorable, plus Kylo would be such a good daddy
One of the Joy’s of teaching such young children was being let in on the innocence and wonder the experienced. Being able to observe and enjoy the wonderment of childhood through the students you thought, was something special.
Teaching children who didn’t have any worries other than going to school and enjoying being small and young, imagining the wonderful world around them, is exactly why you wanted to teach kindergarten.
Being an adult was shitty. Being an adult and having to worry about car payments, house payments, rent, relationships was taxing. It was shitty, it was hard.
Being a child, being a young child who could freely imagine the world to be anything they wanted, being able to enjoy the freedom childhood gave was a wonder.
When you had first decided you wanted to he a teacher, when you first enrolled in university, you thought you wanted to be a high school teacher.
You swore you wanted to be teacher that shaped and helped form the minds of the young men and women who would go out into the world, inspire change.
But when it came time for you to really make your choice, the thought of teaching high school students was terrifying. You couldn't imagine teaching the same kind of little assholes who made your high school experience a nightmare.
You hated high school, you hated everything about it. You hated the people you went to school with, the assholes who made your 4 years shit.
Which is why, when the thought of teaching high school had passed, and you changed your focus from high school to elementary, you were relieved.
Little kids could be so cute, were so cute. They were so innocent, who uninhibited by the limitations set upon adults. They could imagine freely, wonder wildly.
You wanted to see that joy, be around the excitable little boys and girls as they learned, as they experienced new things.
When you had taken your first job as a teacher in kindergarten, you didn't realize just how hard of work it would be.
You didn't think it would be a cake walk, that would’ve been naïve of you. But you didn't think you would constantly be on the move.
It was as if you hadn't realized how much the little 5 and 6 year old boys and girls really had to learn.
Some of them hadn't learned to share well with others, some hadn't learned how to count past 30, others didn't know how not to talk over each other and the teacher.
But you felt like this was your purpose. You felt like teaching these kids is what you were meant to be doing, what you were supposed to do.
This is what you wanted to do when you started working toward getting your degree in teaching. This is what you had hoped for when you were accepted into university. You wanted to be busy, you wanted to work and enjoy your work, and you did.
Seeing the smiles on your students faces when they figured something out, or when they learned something new was priceless.
Plus it didn't hurt that you felt more like a kid yourself than you did an adult. It didn't matter that you had work, rent, and a car payment. You felt like a true kid at heart, and that was probably why you enjoyed working with the younger students.
And at the end of the day, when they were getting ready to go home, they would give you hugs or say goodbye with such vigor, it warmed your heart.
They were always so excited to leave and so excited to come back the next day. It was one of your favorite parts about teaching.
Kylo ran his long fingers through his curly black locks as a sigh left his lips. He had been working tirelessly all day trying to get this business deal to go through, on top of having to deal with his ex-wife trying to get into contact with him.
He hadn't talked to her in 3 years, hadn't wanted to talk to her in 3 years. She wanted nothing to do with her, and had been open about that from the moment she left.
When she had tried contacting him out of the blue, it had been a shock to him. Kylo had ended up hating the woman he once loved, not only for the abandonment of their daughter, but the need to try and drag his name through the mud before she left with her new boyfriend.
The accusations she tried building against him was a weak attempt to damage the company he was trying to build, a last effort to further hurt or annoy Kylo.
“Mr. Ren,” his assistant poked her head into his office, a small frown on her face. “you have a call on line three.”
He groaned and slammed his fist against the wooden table. Thinking it was his ex-wife, he picked up the phone and snapped at the person on the other line, his voice dripping with venom.
“What do you want this time?” he gripped the phone tightly in his right hand, his knuckles turning white.
“Excuse me?” He was hit by the pleasant voice of a woman who was not his ex-wife. “I’m calling from your daughters school. I’m her teacher Y/N L/N. I’m calling to ask who is supposed to be picking your daughter up? School has been over for nearly 45 minutes.”
Kylo felt his heart stop, his stomach drop. He had been so focused on his ex-wifes attempts to get a hold of him, and closing the business deal, that he had forgotten he was supposed to pick his daughter up.
“Fuck! I forgot. I’ll be there in 20 minutes.” He slammed the phone down on the receiver and stood up, grabbing his coat, keys and phone as he left his office.
“You’re done for the day.” He spoke quickly to his assistant before he left his office, taking the steps two at a time before he got to the main lobby.
He wasted no time in starting his car and ripping out of the parking lot, speeding to his daughters school. He was kicking himself over and over as he realized what an idiot he was. He knew he had to pick his daughter up, he knew she would be waiting for him, and still, he forgot.
“Shit.” He parked the car, grabbed the keys and started running toward the front door of the school, swearing under his breath as he ripped open the door.
He took a minute to compose himself, running his hands through his black curls, straightening himself out before he started walking toward the office.
When he stepped inside, the only woman inside turned toward him, her eyes widening. He watched her jaw drop, her cheeks flush.
“I’m looking for Y/N L/N. I believe she's a kindergarten teacher? I’m here for my daughter actually.” He placed his palms flat on the desk, watching the woman look him up and down with appreciation.
“Umm…yes she’s…” she licked her lip and then shook her head.
“Down the hall and to the right.” When she finally managed to speak, Kylo thanked her with a smirk and left the office.
It was an ego boost knowing that at 36, and divorced, he could still make women weak in the knees, still make women melt.
“Thank you.” He flashed her another smirk and turned, striding down the hall to the right classroom, his hands shoved in his pocket.
As he got to the classroom, he leaned on the door frame and, before he knocked, he looked at his daughter as she organized a set of blocks by colours, her black curls falling into her face.
He smile fondly at her, his whole world encompassed by his daughter. She was his life, she was the reason he did everything he did.
“You must be Olivia's father?” He stood straight up and looked over his shoulder when he heard the woman from the phone, speak.
When he swept his eyes over you, he was pleasantly surprised by you. He was expecting some woman who was middle aged and unattractive.
But what he had seen was a woman who was young, possibly even younger than Rey and Rey was only 26.
“I’m Kylo Ren.” He crossed his arms over his chest, watching as you walked past him into the classroom.
“Olivia,” you bent down in front of his daughter, your hand resting on top of hers. “your father’s here to pick you up.”
“Daddy!” He bent down and enveloped Olivia in a hug when she ran toward him, tightening his arms around her.
“I’m sorry for being late. I lost track of the time.” When he pulled away, she kept from his arms and ran to a cubby with her name scrawled above, her pink and black backpack sitting inside.
“You know school ends at 2:30 right?” his attention was back on you, scrutinizing you as you spoke to him.
You had your arms crossed over his chest, staring him down with disdain. He turned toward you, eyes sweeping your frame, again.
You were much shorter than him, thought that wasn't a feat. Both Kylo and Ben stood at 6’4”, and you looked like you were only 5’5”.
You were young, maybe 24 or 25, and pretty. Kylo noted that you were very pretty, eye catching. You had a heart shaped face with long hair piled onto your head in a tight pony.
Your eyes were burning with disdain for Kylo, annoyed that he was so late to pick up his daughter.
You seemed to he indifferent to his personal attractiveness, or so he ha thought until he caught your faint blush.
“I know. I lost track of time at work.” He could hear Olivia in the background, shoving things into her bag.
“Next time try not to be so late picking her up.” You had spoken after a moment of silence, waiting until Kylo had grabbed Olivia's hand, and her backpack.
“I'll try not to be late again.” His lips were being tugged into a half-smile. It had been a long time since he had seen a woman who was so open about speaking harshly to him.
“I hope not.” You moved your attention from him to Olivia.
“I’ll see you tomorrow Olivia.” You smiled at his daughter, waved even, but when your attention settled back on him, your smile fell.
“Bye Miss L/N!” Olivia grabbed his hand and started tugging him by his hand.
He gave you a last glance and followed his daughter as they left, small smile growing on his face.
Kylo glanced at his daughter in his rearview mirror, watching her look out the window, her familiar curly raven locks blowing softly from the air from the car.
She was humming something familiar yet unknown, the tune sweet and upbeat. She was moving her head side to side to her hummed beat.
He watched a smile grow on her face, her attitude and her persona much brighter and sunnier than his own. Olivia, his darling girl, hadn't felt any jarring incidents that would dampen her spirits.
She hadn’t had any disappointments that would shatter her childlike hope and wonder. She was still beautifully imaginative, wonderfully creative.
Kylo never wanted Olivia to lose the wonder and creativity that made her such a bright light in his life. He wanted the very best for his little girl, he wanted her to feel all the love in the world.
Since his ex wife left, and abandoned him and their little girl, Kylo had done everything in his power to make sure Olivia felt loved. He did everything he could to step up and take over the roles of both mother and father.
He worked his ass off to provide her with an amazing education, even if it was just kindergarten. He tried to make sure he either dropped her off at school or picked her up, and if he couldn't, he had Ben or Rey pick her up.
Kylo tried his best to he everything Olivia needed, wanted. He tried to be everything all at once, and between work and Olivia, he was left with hardly no time to date.
As a single father to an overly excited 6 year old, one who was in constant mischief and quite dramatic, he had a rather fixed, yet packed schedule.
In the morning, he woke up, woke his daughter up and made himself coffee. He packed her backpack and her lunch, woke her up for the second time. He brushed her hair, attempted to braid it only to have Rey to redo what he had done. He got her dressed, made her breakfast, made her brush her teeth and then either dropped her off at school or had Ben and Rey.
As a business man, a successful businessman who was fairly well off, Kylo's schedule after his duties as a father were done for the moment, was just as packed.
He got to the office, checked for any emails and voicemails, attended a few meetings, sighed paperwork, had his assistant run some errands, attended a board meeting every once in a while, and by that time his day was done and he went to pick up his daughter, or he left to meet his daughter at their home.
That left barely any time to date, and even if he could find the time to date, Kylo was anxious about dating anyone. He didn't want Olivia to develop an attachment to whoever he was dating, in case it didn't work out.
“Daddy,” Kylo looked at her again. “are we going to see uncle Ben and aunt Rey?”
Olivia was his whole world, she came first. Her happiness came first. Another reason why he hadn't considered dating much.
“We're already there.” He smiled, a smile that was reserved for her and her alone.
He parked the car and turned off the engine. He placed his hand on the back of the passenger seat headrest, turning his body and head to look at his daughter in the backseat, her pink and black backpack sitting in her lap.
“Last time we were here, Uncle Ben gave me this thing called a cotton candy burrito.” Olivia grinned and lurched forward, her hands folded.
“I know he did.” kylo shook his head as he hooked his keys on his finger before he got out of the car, opening the door for olivia.
“We're having dinner here and then you’re going to spend the night.” Kylo grabbed her forgotten backpack and her overnight bag, holding them both with ease in his left hand, as he closed the door with his right.
“Uncle Ben!” Kylo had just managed to lock the door before Olivia took off toward the door, knocking a mile a minute.
He followed after her, taking the steps one by one. The door opened and Rey greet the pair of them with a wide grin. She crouched down and wrapped her arms around Olivia, giving her a squeeze before letting her run in to find Ben.
When it was just Rey and Kylo, he felt her brown eyes focus on him, her arms crossed over her face, a frown replacing the smile.
“I forgot.” Kylo knew it wasn’t the answer she wanted, but it was the truth. He had forgotten, he had been so busy with work that he just let the time slip by.
“Her kindergarten teacher called me wondering when someone was coming for Olivia. Somehow, she didn't have your number but she has both of ours.” Rey pursed her lips, a sign that she was more than a little annoyed.
“Fuck, Rey. What do you want me to say sorry? I said sorry. Do you want me to apologize for not having her teacher my number? I thought she had it. I swear. I mean fuck-" he ran his long fingers through his curly black locks.
“Parents are supposed to volunteer for at least one school field trip her term. You haven't done a single one yet. And they’ve been on 4 field trips. One to the planetarium, one to the Japanese gardens, one to the museum, one to the art gallery. You haven’t done one yet. Olivia is always asking when you won't be busy so you can go with her.” As Rey spoke, Kylo felt like he had been kicked in the balls.
“Shit Rey, I didn't know. She didn't say anything to me.” Kylo set her bags down, shoving his hands in his pockets after.
“You’re her daddy. Of course she wouldn’t say anything to you. Listen Kylo I’m not…” Rey took a breath. “I’m not saying you’re not a good father, because you’re the best father you can be while being a single father. But maybe you figure something out at work so you can go he with Olivia on her field trips, or go to her little kindergarten concerts.”
“I know-" the door opened and Ben stepped out, arms crossed over his chest.
As the younger of the twins, Ben was easier going. He was more relaxed and fun natured. Kylo was the hard ass with the bad temper, he was the first of the Solo twins. He was the dark and Ben was the light.
“There's a trip planned to the aquarium. Olivia wants to see the hammerhead sharks.” Ben wrapped an arm around Rey's waist, his fingers drumming against her light grey tank top.
“I’ll go. I’ll figure it out.” Kylo turned and started back down the steps, stopping just shy of the last. “thank you for watching her tonight.”
He flashed a quick smile, his keys still hooked on his finger. He looked at both of them, thanking them for a second time before slowly making his way to his vehicle.
“Who wants a cotton candy burrito?!” He heard Ben's deep voice carry even through the door, and if Kylo hadn't had a meeting he couldn't get out of, he would’ve killed Ben for loading her up with so much sugar.
Kylo shoved the key into the ignition and started it, his car roaring to life. He hesitated leaving the driveway, taking a moment to solidify the silent promise he had made to Olivia.
Yes the part at the beginning is neccessary. It'll play a part later on.
The flickering soft glow of the candle sitting in front of you crested an atmosphere of romance and intimacy, something you hadn't experienced for a long time.
The man you were on a date with, the blind date, was a rage handsome man with dark curly hair, warm brown eyes and a killer smile. He was a devilishly handsome man, a man who was enchanting and esthetically pleasing to the eyes.
His name was Poe Dameron, and he was a friend of a friend of one of your fellow kindergarten teachers.
He was the blind date that your friend wanted you to be set up on, and while you appreciated her attempt to get you onto the dating scene, you were looking for a man who would spend more time around the city, rather than flying all over the world.
It was a nice prospect, dating a pilot who could take you anywhere, but then you imagined that many of your nights would be spent alone while a pilot significant other would be God knows where.
Still, you promised your fellow kindergarten teacher that you would give Poe Dameron a chance, and that’s what you were determined to do. You would give him a chance, give the date a chance and then at the end of the night, you would politely decline another date.
It wasn’t as if you weren't attracted to him, because how could you not be. It was more that there was no real spark there. He was charming and well rounded, attractive but there was no real spark.
Sometimes it took more than one date to feel a potential spark and connection, and other times you knew instantly. It was this case, the lack of spark was instant.
“Can I confess something?” you had spoken up after a rather awkward conversation between the two of you.
“What’s that?” Poe drank from his glass of whiskey, looking over you with a raised eyebrow.
“I only came on this date because my friend wouldn't shut up about it.” Your confession made Poe snort, a laugh following shortly after.
“The same thing happened with me.” He wiped his mouth and leaned in, his elbows resting on the table.
“Seriously, she was like you’re 24 Y/N. It’s now or never. You don't find a man now, you never will.” You rolled your eyes and lifted your wine glass to your lips, taking a sip. “as if being unmarried by 24 is a crime.”
You looked at Poe who had cracked a smile, his warm brown eyes crinkling at the edges.
“I’m going to be a pilot, I have probably a year left before I get my license. I told my friend I didn't want a genuine relationship now. Told him I was focused on flying.” Poe sat back and crossed his arms over his chest.
“Still can't believe you want to be a pilot. I like flying, but not enough to want to be in control of a plane.” Your comment had raised another of Poe's eyebrows.
“You don't want to be in control of a plane that weighs 306.8 tons?” He joked with you, the conversation easing up as you both relayed the deep truths of why you were on the date.
“Are you kidding me? Some days I can't even get my toaster to work. I don't need to he in control of a flying plane.” You brushed your hair behind your ear just as Poe leaned in, a friendly grin on his face.
“You wanna skip out of here and get some real food?” you didn't need to be asked twice. You grabbed your bag and stood, paying for your half of the drinks, following Poe as he walked out of the fancy Italian place.
“What kind of fancy are we talking about?” You stood beside him as he hailed a cab, his grin never falling.
“I know a great food truck near central park.”
“Now you’re talking, Dameron.”
The chill of the morning ripped right through your coat and scarf combo, your bare hands wrapped tight around your chilly and numb fingers. It was an oddly cold October 5th, even for New York.
As you huddled inside the boot room of the kindergarten wing waiting for your students and volunteer parents to show up for the field trip, you were grateful that you didn’t have little ears around who would listen in on your conversation about their parents.
It started with the only male kindergarten teacher, Ryan, who started speaking about one of his kindergarten teachers who called and complained because their child got in trouble for not sharing a toy.
Ryan, a proud gay man, who was happily married, tried explaining over the phone that the child in question had bit the other child, only to get reamed out and called some derogatory terms.
Much to your great amusement, Ryan had shot right back and called the parent a raging homophobe. The conversation as he told it was filled with various curses that only added to the story.
After he was finished retelling his story, he then changed the subject from complaining about parents, to talking about the single parents.
“Have you seen Olivia's father?” That one in particular, had sent a shot of cold air straight down your spine.
“Are we sure we should be talking about it?” You had nearly choked on your coffee when Ryan focused on you, his eyes narrowed.
“Are you actually asking if we should be talking about that tall, hulking man with the deepest brown eyes that’s I’ve ever seen? Than yes. He is a dream.” Ryan fanned himself, his eyes rolling back into his skull.
“You’re married.” You sipped from your coffee cup, the warmth from the coffee taking over the chill in your digits.
“Its not like I’d ever sleep with the man. I have mu own tall glass of water at home.” You snort and rolled your eyes.
“Heard you gave him shit.” You looked at the other teacher, a woman around your age who was newly engaged.
“Yeah…” you shifted your weight from foot to foot. “he was like an hour and a half late.”
“So…what did you think of him?” You looked from Ryan, to the other teacher, Liz, the one who helped set you up with Poe, and sighed.
“Honestly, he was probably the most beautiful man I have ever seen. And I mean that honestly.” You sighed and chewed the inside of your cheek. “he is…something else.”
Before any of you had a chance to say something else, the students and parents started to arrive. You finished your coffee and threw it in the trash before walking out into the chilly air.
“Good morning everyone!” you addressed your students as they started crawling out of the vehicles, lumbering toward you. “are you all excited to go?”
You counted the heads of students, your students specifically, making sure everyone who was going, was here. When you came up one short, you formed and did a double count.
You were halfway through the second count when you saw Olivia approaching the school, her backpack flopping as she ran over. Behind her was her father, the shock at seeing him at the school, and actually willing to volunteer had rendered your speechless for a minute.
“I cant wait to see the sharks! I’ve been dreaming about seeing sharks for weeks!” Olivia joined the rest of your students, her black curls pulled into a braided bun.
You briefly made eyes contact with Kylo Ren, cheeks burning when he smiled briefly at you. He was out of a suite, wearing a pair of dark Jean’s instead, a grey t-shirt that seemed to cut too well across his broad chest and a black leather jacket. When you realized you’d been staring too long, you turned your attention back to your students.
“I want you all to partner up before we go on the bus alright?” You did a final headcount as you wished for the students to partner up, trying to ignore the hulking man who was still staring at you.
“Miss L/N,” you felt Olivia tug on your coat, and when you looked at her, you were taken back by how similar she was to her father. “Will there be sharks there?”
“I’m sure there will be.” You smiled at the adorable little girl who looked just like her father, who you knew full well, was obsessed with the deadly sea creatures.
“Is everyone ready?” Ryan started with his students, getting them on the bus, then Liz's class, and then yours.
As you shuffled them on the bus, you stood by the side and waited for the last to get on, and then waited for the volunteer parents for your class. As the first one got on, you expected Kylo to follow.
“After you.” You flushed at the height difference and the intenseness of his eyes ass they bore into you.
“I was surprised to see your name on the volunteer parent list. I didn’t think you’d actually show.” You took the three steps up, did another headcount before sitting near the front, one seat behind and to the right of Ryan and Liz.
“You didn't think I would show up?” Kylo sat behind you, stretching his long legs out across the bench. You had angled your body, to get a better look at him.
“Well considering that the first time I met you, you were late to pick up your daughter…I’d say the odds were low.” You chewed the corner of your bottom lip, looking past him toward your students who were sitting closest to the front.
“I’m actually surprised you volunteered at all. Most parents volunteer for either the 1st and the 3rd trip or the the 2nd and the 4th. And you hadn’t volunteered for any.” You cast a single glance his way, blushing for the second time in his presence today.
Olivia's father was a beautiful, captivating man. And it would take the best of women not to be affected by his alluring and captivating eyes, his long thick lashes and his devilishly handsome smile.
Kylo opened his mouth to speak, as you watched, and after kicking yourself in the teeth, you backpedaled and apologized. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s going on in your home life and I shouldn’t have judged.” You turned away and focused on the passing scenery outside.
You could still feel the weight of his eyes on you, your cheeks warming in response. You felt as though he may have wanted to say something but hadn't or had hesitated to actually say it.
And you almost wished he had.
You stood outside the aquarium with your students huddled around you, Ryan's around him and Liz with hers. You briefly lifted your head, eyes locked on Kylo’s before you blushed and looked back down at your students.
They were all talking among themselves, their eager little voices and excitement almost uncontainable, but it would have to be broken up so all of you could go inside.
“Are you all excited?” You grinned as a combo of shrieks and screams left their excited, little 5 and 6 year old mouths. “Good! We're going to go inside and when we get there, we'll meet our tour guide.”
You did another head count and then stepped in front of them, your back to the aquarium, addressing your students with a clear and calm voice. “I want all of you to line up and make sure you’re listening. Don't wander off and if you have to go to the bathroom, let one of us teachers know of one of the parents.”
“Are you ready?” You felt Kylo's heavy gaze on you, impossible to ignore. For the second time since you stepped off the bus, you looked at him. And for the second time, you felt your cheeks warming when he flashed you a half smirk.
“Let's go inside then.” You finally pulled your gaze away.
You followed Ryan and his class, with Liz and her class following behind you. As you moved to hold the door open for the students, Ryan and Liz and the parents, you felt large, long fingers brushing against your own.
You looked over your shoulder, and craned your neck up. Kylo was standing behind you, holding the door open, cracking a small grin. “I’ve got the door.”
You were frozen for a moment. You couldn't pull your attention away from Kylo or his deep brown eyes.
You couldn't pull your attention away from his beautifully handsome face, the scar on his right side or the way his fingertips had barely covered your own.
“Thank you.” You couldn't pull yourself away, until you had to.
You slipped your hand out from under his as you rejoined the classes, the tour guide standing in front of the kids, an overly bright and cheerful look on her face.
“Good morning everyone and welcome to the aquarium!” She clapped her hands together, holding them in front of her chest. “My name is Melonie and I work in the aquarium as an aquarist! Does anyone know what that means?”
You were joined by Liz who had crossed her arms over her chest, leaning into you, mumbling under her breath. “you weren't kidding when you said he was gorgeous. I want to climb him like a tree.”
“Liz!” you coughed and nudged her, mildly horrified by her blunt statement.
“What? Don't tell me you wouldn't.” She glanced behind your back to where Kylo was standing, near Olivia of course.
Liz's lips were pulled back into a smile as she spoke again. “He is all man and all kinds of gorgeous.”
You covered your mouth with your hand, snorting into your palm. You didn't think Liz would be so bold in front of your students, or so brazen about wanting to climb Kylo like a tree, but she was far more brazen about her sex life than you were, naturally.
“You can't deny that.” Liz tapped your nose as she brushed past you to follow the classes as they moved on to the first exhibit.
You shook your head and shoved your hands in your peacoat following behind them. You traces the camera on your cellphone as you lingered behind the classes and out of their view of the deep blue water and fish swimming freely in the tank.
The first area you went to was a conservation area. It had wall to wall glass that gave an amazing and breathtaking view of the reef and the various exotic fish swimming around. You had openly shared in your students excitement as they listened to the tour guide talk, eyes wide.
“Miss L/N! Look at the sting ray!” one of the younger boys in your class grabbed your hand and started tugging you toward the middle of the room, his chubby little finger pointed at the ray as it swam past, its tail flicking against the glass.
“Did you know that sting rays don't have any bones in their body?” You looked down at the little blonde boy, his blue eyes wide and his mouth fell open.
“No way!” His shock and amazement made you smile. You loved the way kids got so excited about the simplest things, their innocence was intoxicating, it made you feel younger than you were.
That’s amazing!” When the little boy ran back to the join the rest of the students, you followed behind, your hands shoved into your back pockets.
“Did you know,” you stopped when you heard Kylo's voice. “stingrays are closely related to sharks?”
“I didn't know that.” You spared a glance at the stingrays as it swam back and forth, the long tail catching your eyes.
“Their tails have a spine and and venom. And Greek dentists used to use the venom as anesthetic.” You looked at Kylo out of the corner of your eyes, chewing the inside of your cheek. “I watch a lot of national geographic. More than I’d like to actually admit.”
He cracked another smile, his hands shoved in the pockets of his own pea coat, his own made far better than yours and in far better shape. His longer hair, the ends brushing against his shoulders and the nape of his neck was curly, something you hadn't noticed before.
Kylo was a man that was broad and tall. He had wide and strong shoulders that matched his wide and strong chest. When his broad width was combined with the height he had, he was easily the picture of a massive man who was intimidating. Kylo Ren reeked of power, and confidence. He was the type of man that any woman, any sane woman, would dream of being with.
“So,” Kylo broke the awkward silence between you two with a question. “How long have you been teaching?”
When Kylo raised that question, you moved your attention between your students who were listening to the guide go on about the difference between the Coral reef and the barrier reef, and him. He was watching you with split interest, half the time he was focused on the aquarium and the other half was spent on you.
“I’ve been teaching for 2 years. I started university when I was 18 and graduated when I was 22.” You felt your phone vibrating in your pocket, and as you pulled it out of your worn blue pea coat, Kylo asked another question.
“How old are you, if you don't mind me asking?” You raised your eyes from your phone, chewing the right corner of your bottom lip.
“I’m 24.” You lowered your eyes, watching the message notification from Poe relay a simple message.
You ignored his message and shoved your phone back in your pocket. You would answer him later, sometime after the tour or on a break. His message hadn't carried much importance, other than him wanting to meet up for coffee, as friends.
“What do you do?” You and Kylo had started walking together behind the students.
You saw Ryan texting on his phone, likely talking to his partner, while Liz was busy speaking with a set of twins in her class.
“I own a business.” Kylo spoke in a way that caught your attention. He wasn't bragging about his career, his business, but he spoke with pride.
“That’s impressive. It really is.” You had managed to speak your admiration before your attention was being pulled back to your students, who were starting a little wild with their questions.
“I have to go deal with my students…” your voice trailed off as you looked between them and Kylo.
“We can talk later?” you left the option open as you walked back toward them, clapping your hands once to get their attention.
“One question at a time, kids.”
Kylo approached you with two cups in his hand, one with coffee and the other with tea. He didn’t actually know what you would like, but he figured tea would be a place to start.
He wanted to talk to you like he had before you had to deal with your class, and the perfect opportunity was now.
All the kids were doing an activity during their lunch break, fully entertained by the staff. You were sitting with the other teachers, your back resting against the wooden bench, you leg crossed over the other.
As he approached, he saw the other two teachers whisper something to you, an adoring blush dusting your cheeks, the pair of them excusing themselves.
“You looked cold,” he was nervous. Him, Kylo Ren, entrepreneur, was nervous around you. “I didn't know what you liked, so I got tea.”
“Thank you, Mr. Ren.” Kylo sat beside you, a far bit of space between you two, clearing his throat as he handed you the cup of tea.
“Kylo.” He gained your attention again. “Call me Kylo.”
“Kylo.” You test his name on your lips before taking a sip from the thin foam cup. “thank you for the tea. That was thoughtful of you.”
Kylo turned his attention back to his daughter, mess of black curls to match his own. Her brown eyes were moving excitedly around the shark tank, not settling on one for too long.
“She's smart. Olivia is very smart. Smart as a whip.” Kylo leaned back against the bench, his hands clutching his cheap foam cup of coffee.
Listening to you praising his daughter was a further affirmation that you weren't just a good teacher, you were a kind hearted person. You saw beyond Olivia as a student, you saw her as the little individual, independent 6 year old she was.
“She is. And so full of energy.” He sat up, shifting his position on the bench. “Full of mischief.”
“She gets that from your wife?” Kylo looked at you out of the corner of his eyes, the coffee cup in his hand, nearly empty.
“My ex-wife moved to south America with her new boyfriend. Fiance now. Maybe they’re even married now.” He shrugged, in all actuality, he couldn’t give two shits about his ex-wife.
“Oh. I’m sorry. About the whole divorce thing.” Your tongue dart of out your mouth, wetting your dry lips.
“My parents got divorced when I was young, my dad left not too long after. I hardly saw him again. My mom remarried when I was 7, and my stepdad is more of a father than my actually father is.”
You stood shortly after, your hand still wrapped around your cup, eyes turned away from him as you looked over your class. “Kids are resilient ya know? They have strength I think some adults wish they possessed.”
Kylo stood soon after, throwing his empty cup away in the nearest trash bin, his eyes roaming the picturesque view of the sharks. He was only half listening to what the demonstrator was saying, lost in thought.
Kylo had thought about dating again, he had thought of putting himself out there, but it had to be with the right woman. And at the right time.
His daughter came first, she would always come first and that was also a factor in who he chose to date. His daughter was his number one priority, and if she didn't like the woman he wanted to date, she was out.
“I have to go back to my class, but thank you for the tea.” He watched you raised the cheap foam, a small smile on your pretty face.
“You’re welcome. I hope it warmed you up.” Ben was the charming one, Ben was the flirt, but Kylo wasn't so bad himself.
“It did, thank you.” You had also discarded your empty cup, soon joining the rest of the students.
As you and the other two teachers started teaching your students, Kylo took the opportunity to look you over.
Not in an overtly sexualizing way, but with curiosity. You were certainly pretty, eye catching, lovely.
“You’re welcome.” He spoke after you’d left, feeling more like a child with a schoolboy crush, than a man who owned a business and had a 6 year old.
“Have a good weekend everyone!” You had a few things to do in class before you could really leave for the day, but your students were leaving with their parents. “I’ll see you on Monday.”
You had waited until almost everyone was gone before you turned back to go back into the school, stopping when you heard your name being called.
Your hand fell from the metal handle of the door, turning slightly. Your cheeks grew warm, the heat rising under your skin had made the chill in the air feel less than. Your eyes rose from the cracked sidewalk, your neck craned as you looked up, eyes meeting Kylo's deep browns.
“I wanted to catch you before I left…” He had his hands shoved into the pockets of his dark jeans, the front of his casual, yet expensive looking, shirt tucked falling just over his waist, hiding the belt that was pulled through the loops.
His dark jacket, also good quality, was doing everything right when it came to showing Kylo's broad width, his strong shoulders and chest on display.
“Is everything okay?” You managed to pull your eyes sway from Kylo’s frame, a tempting frame, with no more than a deep seeded blush on your cheeks.
“Could I get your number?” He wet his bottom plump lip with his tongue, exhaling slowly, almost nervously.
“You want my number?” you hesitated, your stutter of surprise sending you into a whole another whirlwind of emotions.
“Yeah I mean…” he exhaled slowly. “Fuck…I haven’t asked for a woman’s number since I was 26.”
“Are you asking me for the purpose of having my number because I’m your child's teacher? Or are you asking for my number for the purpose of someday asking me out on a date? Or are you asking me because I’m your child’s teacher and for the purpose of asking me out?” You chewed in the inside of your cheek, scrunching your toes inside your right shoe, an attempt to make yourself feel less nervous.
Kylo was a beautiful man, with a beautiful face. He was tall and broad and strong. He was like an Adonis with a slightly dark persona, but that just intrigued you more. He was far more appealing than most men your age, and your attraction to him was as obvious as it was real.
But he was also your students parent. And he was a single father with an ex-wife in another continent. It sounded like his relationships were a mess, did you want to get involved? Did you want to add another layer to Olivia's exciting childhood?
“If you don't want to-" You cut Kylo off by whipping out your phone, the new contact screen loaded.
“There’s a lot going on in your life. A lot of read between the lines stuff, and I don't want to add another complicated layer to that. But if you need a friend, if you need someone to talk to, I can be there for you.” Your smile didn't meet your eyes, as you voluntarily and possibly permanently placed yourself in the ‘friend-zone'.
“Friends.” Kylo grabbed your phone and added his number, sending himself a text before you got it back.
“I’m a good listener.” You placed your phone back in your pocket, as Kylo said a quick ‘goodbye’ and approached his vehicle, Olivia inside waiting.
You, in turn, slipped inside the building, sending another text to Kylo after the one he sent himself.
Once the message was sent, you shoved your phone back into your pocket for the third time, and moved toward your classroom.
If being friends was all you could be, even though Kylo was the most attractive man you had ever seen, than friends you would be.